Dr Bawumia postpones date for drone tech for drug distribution

By Clement Edward Kumsah
Dr  Bawumia

Dr Bawumia has postponed the timeline for the commencement of drones technology for the distribution of drugs and blood to hospitals across Ghana.

Vice President, Dr Bawumia in April this year announced that Ghana will by September 2018 use drones to distribute blood and other essential medicines to remote parts of the country as part of efforts to ensure quality healthcare delivery. But the vice president says the project will start in 2019.

Speaking at the 2018 Annual Health Summit in Accra, the Vice President Dr Bwaumia said the government would sign a Memorandum of Understanding this week to put the technology into effect.

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“We by the grace of God; there is ongoing discussions, we are looking at innovative ways to deliver blood supplies as well as essential medicines to remote areas. As the rains come in, some areas are going to be cut off… Do we allow mothers to die because we can’t have blood supplies or essential medicines? Ghana this week, will be signing an MOU and by the middle of this year or by September, we will join Malawi and Rwanda with using drone technology to deliver blood supplies and essential medicines. So we are going to do so that this year,” he said

However, speaking at a forum organised by the Africa Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) on Thursday, June 21, 2018, Dr Bawumia stated that the move will take off in 2019.

“By early 2019, we will be joining Rwanda in using drones to deliver critical medical products. Blood products, medical cargo, emergency vaccines, life-saving and other essential medicines on demand to every part of the country regardless of the terrain or road infrastructure.”

The Ministry of Health some few months ago signed a Letter of Intent with the developer and operator of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, popularly known as drones, to offer a drone-enabled supply chain solution in Ghana that will ensure secure, reliable and timely deliveries of essential health care products to hospitals and other health facilities. The Service, which will be designed, installed and operated by USA-based Zipline International Inc. in partnership with the Ghana Health Service, will leverage technology to improve the supply chain of critical medical supplies, reduce waste and save lives.

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